The Australian state of Queensland is stepping up its investments in hydrogen power and aspires to become clean energy “superpower” by developing its own project as well as partnering with private companies.
Through publicly-owned power generator firm CS Energy, the government will build a demonstration plant that can produce 50 tonnes of hydrogen a year. The facility will be built next to an existing power plant operated by CS Energy.
“We’re investing in renewable energy to create long-term, sustainable jobs for Queenslanders,” the state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement.
“Queensland will be a renewable hydrogen superpower,” she added.
Hydrogen for power and transport
Construction of the plant will start next year and commissioning is expected by early 2023.
The hydrogen plant will be built beside the Kogan Creek power station “and will include the co-location of a solar farm, battery, hydrogen electrolyser and hydrogen fuel cell,” said Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni.
“Better yet, CS Energy are looking to support the decarbonisation of the heavy transport and haulage market with their locally produced zero emission fuel and discussions are well advanced with multiple potential off-takers,” he added.
The announcement followed a partnership agreement with renewables unit of Fortescue Metals Group unveiled just a day earlier.
Under the agreement, Fortescue Future Industries will build equipment manufacturing centre to produce, among others, electrolyser used in hydrogen facility. Construction will start in February 2022 with first electrolysers production slated in early 2023, the company said in a statement.
Initial investment for the project is earmarked at $83m and may rise to as much as $650m, it added.
“To position our state to capitalise on the renewables revolution, as a state, we must invest in new assets and partner with the private sector to create jobs. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Premier Palaszczuk.